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Québec Stakes Season Gets Underway

Published: July 15, 2021 2:25 pm ET

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The 2021 stakes season at Hippodrome 3R gets underway on Friday (July 16) with the opening round of the Breeders Trophy Series for three-year-old trotters.

Each division will compete in three preliminary legs, with the top eight point earners eligible for the $65,000 final on Sunday, Sept. 12.

In the first division for colts and geldings, carded as race eight, the Maxime Velaye Stable sends out a powerful entry of Emotions Riches (post 7) and Ciel Bleu (post 5).

Emotions Riches is the stronger of the stablemates, having won $46,000 last year for the Provoquante Stable that bred and owns both horses.

This season, Emotions Riches, who is sired by Wheeling N Dealin, has two wins, the fastest a record of 2:01.2 taken at H3R two starts back. But in his last start at Rideau Carleton, in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division, he was a game third, timed individually in 1:55.2.

“He raced super at Rideau against top OSS,” said Velaye. “He finished a good third and he dropped five seconds from his previous start. He should race well on Friday. He is really easy to deal with him since Guy (Corbel) bought him last year.”

Emotions Riches will have regular driver Stéphane Gendron aboard on Friday.

Ciel Blue only raced twice last year, but emerged as a three-year-old in good form. Just last week, he won for the first time in a strong 2:01.2 at H3R. He is sired by Muscle Mass.

“For Ciel Bleu,” Velaye explained, “yes, he did break his maiden very well last start and looked strong at the wire. He has had a lot of bad luck at age two, even at age three. In his last two stars prior to his win, he got involved with interference and in an accident.

“For now, 'Emotions' has got the advantage on him,” Velaye added. “And with more experience, maybe he can go with him because he has got a lot of desire and he has a good attitude. I think he will develop into a nice horse, just time will tell.”

Another top horse in the field is Hall Win, who starts from post two for Kevin Maguire. The Maguire Stable bred and owns the son of Angus Hall, whom Kevin trains and drives.

So far in 2021, Hall Win has three wins in five starts with a record of 1:59.3 at H3R.

Fillies do battle in the third race, which features X O X O in post four. This filly, also by Angus Hall, is driven by Jerome Lombart and trained by Andreane Lapierre.

X O X O already has three wins this year and a new lifetime mark of 2:01.3. She is a half-sister to Lucky Promesse, a former top trotting mare at H3R.

Her main rival will be Theres Always Hope (post 1), who, in her qualifying race at Rideau Carleton for driver Ryan Guy, was a game second, timed in 2:02.3.

On Sunday (July 18), three-year-old pacers will compete in their opening round of the Breeders Trophy Series.

First race post time Friday is 4 p.m. For more information or to get a free race program, visit the Hippodrome 3R website.

To view Friday's complete entries, click the following link: Friday Entries – Hippodrome 3R.

(Québec Jockey Club)

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